Pope Francis made a statement that sent shudders through the staunchly anti-abortion faction of the Catholic church, suggesting that good Catholics should uphold the fight against poverty with the same level of importance.

In the apostolic exhortation, unveiled Monday by the Vatican, the pope rebuked anti-abortion activists who focus only on that issue, excluding all others. "Some Catholics consider [immigration and poverty] a secondary issue compared to the 'grave' bioethical questions," he wrote, “[like] a politician looking for votes."

“Our defense of the innocence unborn, for example, needs to be clear, firm and passionate,” he continued. “Equally sacred, however, are the lives of the poor, those already born, the destitute and the abandoned.”

“He says that migration and poverty are just as important as abortion, and I think he puts it [front] and center that we need to take care of people, and he argues this within the realm of seeking holiness,” Reverend Emmett G. Price III said during "All Revved Up" on BPR Monday. “For all of us who are pursuing this idea of holiness, then we need to be as mindful [about] those who are impoverished, and those who are migrants, as mindful as we are about abortion.”